Responsible Tourism & Education for Sustainable Development

Responsible tourism and development of local communities

UNESCO’s 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Develpment (ESD)  will mark the end of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)  and will be the starting point of the Global Programme of Action (GAP) in ESD. The conference was held in Aichi-Nagoya (Japan), 10 to 12 November 2014.

The conference, whose theme was “Learning Today for a sustainable future” was attended by over a thousand participants to review the achievements of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

During the opening plenary session, the UNESCO presented the Decade’s Final Report (Designing the future we want). This paper assesses the impact of the Decade in all spheres of education and establishes the future lines of work in this area.

Among other issues the report highlights the need for ESD to support the goals of sustainable development and for policy makers to promote education services. It also calls for generalized, firm and lasting political support so that the creation of an environment favorable to ESD objectives translate into actual changes in the educational programs at all levels.

The report identifies ten key lessons. In particular, the growing global recognition of education as a fundamental tool to guide societies towards sustainable development.

Dianova International has initiated a sustainable/responsible tourism project in Nicaragua, which not only aims to enhance the public image of the country and contribute to the development of local communities, but also aids financing – along with the Europeo Hotel – an education project dedicated to strengthening the overall development of young people in the municipality of Santa Teresa, in the Carazo region.

The education project is an agricultural school with a focus on entrepreneurship. The school is dedicated to develop students’ skills and abilities to help them:

  •   Find a meaningful employment upon graduation
  •   Enter universities and/or
  •   Return to their home communities and work in their family farms with better chances of success. The school provides education and pays for students’ administrative expenses and other fixed costs through the sale of agricultural or agro-industrial products.

This project will represent an added value for:

  •   The Dianova Foundation, which will be given the opportunity to contribute to Carazo’s economic and social development,
  •   The students, in response to their need to achieve decent employments and wages and thus participate in local economic growth,
  •   Rural communities which suffer from scarce technical knowledge and the lack of educational and work opportunities for their youth,
  •   Agricultural entrepreneurship which will benefit from qualified personnel,
  •   Clients, because they will take advantage of  affordable quality services and products
  • The Carazo region which will become an economic development center, and, last but not least;
  •  The insitutions due to the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Tourism is one of the main drivers of economy and prosperity worldwide and fighting poverty is a common responsibility and one of the biggest challenges of mankind. Therefore it seems reasonable to devote time and efforts in creating wealth through tourism-related development activities. It is an immense task that lies ahead but also a tremendous opportunity!

Click here to participate in the project: www.turismoresponsableonline.org

Mario Prieto